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How can the UK become carbon neutral?

In June 2019, the UK became the first country to pass a law which would require us to reduce net emissions of greenhouse gases by 100% relative to 1990 levels. This would mean we reach net zero emissions.

What does ‘net zero’ mean?

Net zero emissions simply means that there is a balance between the amount of emissions we produce and the amount we remove.

There are two routes to achieving our net zero goal which work together: reducing existing emissions and actively removing greenhouse gases.

The lower we can get our emissions the easier it will be to reach our net zero target.

What are the UK’s biggest greenhouse gas emissions?

There are six major greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride.*

Carbon dioxide makes up the bulk of these, and most are created by burning fossil fuels.

Who is the worst contributor of greenhouse gas emissions?

We’ve got to work together to achieve our net zero goal, but some industries are working a little bit harder.

The energy sector has seen the biggest reduction in emissions with a 7% drop from 2017 - 2018. Emissions from the grid have dropped by 62% since 1990. This is largely due to the UK shifting away from coal power.

Transport on the other hand has seen just a 3% drop since 1990. The UK Government is now trying to put things in place to help speed up the transport industry’s reduction such as bringing forward a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2035, five years earlier than previously proposed.

How can we reduce emissions?

There are several things that we can do as individuals to reduce emissions in all areas, such as turning off lights that don’t need to be switched on, only using your car when you really need to, car sharing where possible, taking the bus, switching to clean energy companies...but it’s not all down to you.

Government has to step in to make this target a reality.

  • Power. We’re doing a good job of moving away from fossil fuels but we still have a long way to go. In an ideal world the UK would only use homegrown renewable energy from the wind, sun and sea.

  • Buildings and Homes - So many of our homes are not energy efficient, and this not only costs us more money but it costs the environment too. The Government ideally should fund an isolation scheme so that everyone can live in insulated homes, whether that be owned or rented. Not only would this help reduce emissions it would also contribute to ending fuel poverty.

  • Transport - As we’ve already mentioned, the Government is putting measures in place to help reduce emissions from transport however could they do more? We believe that they can and that a system such as Traktual could be one solution. Working in both urban and rural areas, Traktual could be an alternative to diesel using public transport, such as buses. The Traktual system can work with multi-car articulated vehicles carrying more passengers than existing public transport methods. Plus, Traktual vehicles are non-polluting at point of use making them the ideal option to reduce emissions.

If you’d like to know more about Traktual then please do get in touch.

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